Boeing Announces South Carolina 787 Restart Plan

Boeing Charleston
Credit: Boeing

Production of the 787 at Boeing’s North Charleston, South Carolina facility is set to resume in early May following the company’s decision to reopen the site following a temporary month-long suspension in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boeing says most shift workers will resume operations on May 3 and 4, while senior staff will return by the end of this week to begin preparations. The reopening of the site, which shut down on April 8, follows the resumption of commercial aircraft production operations at Boeing’s Puget Sound facilities in Washington state on April 20. 

As with the West Coast sites, Boeing has conducted deep cleaning of the South Carolina site during the shutdown, including pressure washing of restrooms and cleaning of break areas, cafeterias, conference rooms and other community spaces. A raft of health precautions is also being instituted for the returning workers including more visual signage to help maintain separation in communal areas, an “encouragement” to wear face coverings, and a requirement for those working closely together to wear “procedural” masks.

Additional hand sanitizing stations have been distributed around the site while voluntary temperature screening stations will also be made available on all shifts. The company says it will continue to evaluate the impact of the virus on operations and is prepared to adjust plans as the “situation evolves.”

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering technology and propulsion. He is based in Colorado Springs.